Beckham brands partner GBG International close to administration

David Beckham’s consumer products licensing joint venture partner is close to financial collapse – a move which could hasten the former Manchester United midfielder gaining full control of the business.

Sky News has learnt that GBG International Holding Company, which owns 51% of Seven Global, is close to appointing Teneo Restructuring as administrator.

Sources said the appointment could happen in the coming days.

Image: GBG International’s other assets include Fiorelli, the Italian handbag brand Pic: AP

If confirmed, it would come nearly four months after Mr Beckham’s main holding company, David Beckham Ventures Limited (DVBL) made an initial offer to acquire the GBG International stake in Seven Global.

GBG International is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Global Brands Group, which saw its shares suspended earlier this year amid financial difficulties.


The international arm’s other assets include Fiorelli, the Italian handbag brand.

Other companies within the GBG portfolio have already either filed for bankruptcy protection or appointed insolvency practitioners, underlining the spectacular implosion of a business that was spun out of the Li & Fung sourcing and distribution empire.

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The status of negotiations between DVBL and GBG over Seven Global was unclear on Monday.

Seven Global was established nearly seven years ago as the platform for the former England captain’s lucrative array of commercial endorsements.

Image: Mr Beckham has commercial partnerships with brands including Adidas Pic: Ben Duffy / adidas UK

It assumed control of some of Mr Beckham’s longest-running commercial partnerships, including those with the sportswear label Adidas and Tudor, a watch brand owned by Rolex.

Sources previously told Sky News that acquiring GBG’s stake in Seven Global could cost Mr Beckham in the region of $40m (£29m).

The joint venture, in which DVBL holds a 49% stake, also includes the former footballer’s partnerships with the eyewear maker Safilo, the fragrances producer Coty and in categories such as skincare.

It was created in the wake of Mr Beckham’s long-standing commercial management relationship with Simon Fuller’s XIX Entertainment.

In 2019, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid player was reported to have paid around $50m to buy out XIX’s stake in his brand company.

Reports earlier this year said that Mr Beckham and his wife, the fashion designer and former pop singer Victoria, paid themselves more than £20m in dividends from DBVL in 2019 and 2020.

Mr Beckham’s other brand associations include the alcoholic drinks manufacturer Diageo and the casino operator, Las Vegas Sands.

His portfolio of commercial deals has made him one of the world’s wealthiest former sportsmen.

Image: David Beckham and his wife Victoria reportedly paid themselves more than £20m in dividends from DBVL in 2019 and 2020

He recently acquired stakes in Lunaz, an electrified classic car venture, and Cellular Goods, a manufacturer of consumer products made from synthetic cannabinoids.

Seven Global was historically one of the major profit centres for GBG, which develops products under owned and licensed brands such as AllSaints, Calvin Klein, Juice Couture and Reiss.

GBG has a separate joint venture with Creative Artists Agency, the talent manager, which it describes as the world’s largest brand management company.

Executives at GBG have sought to blame the pandemic and structural shifts in the retail industry for the company’s difficulties.

GBG could not be reached for comment, while DBVL and Teneo declined to comment.